31 Days of Halloween – Day 14 – I got things wrong about The Guest (2014)
I got a lot of things wrong about The Guest (2014), the first being that I thought it was another movie. This is not technically a horror movie, even though it takes place around Halloween and involves some brutal murders. It’s more like a thriller, but it has a lot of other things that make it better than just your usual suspense thrillride. I’m not sure which movie I thought it was, but The Guest stars Dan Stevens, the guy from Downtown Abbey, not Peter Cushing or any other horror actor. I was also surprised that this movie co-starred Maika Monroe, the girl from It Follows, which means this movie rocks.
I’m sure you can guess the plot of The Guest (2014), because it has your usual mysterious houseguest feel to it. You can fill in the rest. The basics of it are that David was a soldier who visits the family of his friend, who he said he knew overseas and served with. Is he lying? Yeah, he is. Sorta. The plot doesn’t stay on the predictable path for long, because a conspiracy is thrown in to paint this guy as a cold-blooded killer, who was created by the military.
The first half of the movie showcases David before he snaps. He’s a tough-guy, and helps the kid of the house defend himself after he’s picked on by some stereotypical high school jerks. Maika plays a slightly older girl, who works at a diner. She seems to suspect David is not who he says he is, mainly because that’s what her character has to do. Really, there’s no explanation for it, except that she’s paranoid or something.
The movie does paint David as slightly off though, as it transitions into la la land, getting ready to go off the hinge. Before that though, he buys some guns and murders some people on the downlow. This guy is nuts, basically. After he comes home, the audience knows he’s a psycho, but the family doesn’t know. That’s a vibe that works best. Dan Stevens puts on this creepy smile that is awesome.
After the movie spends half its running time focusing on David bonding with this family, the military breaks down the door looking for him. They shoot up the place. They have a friggin mini-gun. I guess they know what we know. David’s a psycho. David is so badass, he retaliates and kills pretty much everybody, then escapes. He stabs the Mom on his way out. On the road, he guns down the Dad as he comes home from work. Holy cow, settle down. Did I say psycho?
The military leader guy survives David’s escape and picks up Maika and her brother. He explains that David was a military experiment and has a nuerological disorder as a result. Wow, no kidding? I didn’t know that over an hour into the movie. That’s crappy exposition right there.
The ending is a little clunky, but I guess it works in some parts. It has suspense, as David chases everybody trying to kill them. The high school is used as a backdrop and the school gym is set up for a Halloween dance, so there’s all these cheesy decorations, like you might expect. They use some floor mist as a good tease to make us wonder where David went, after Maika shoots him in the shoulder. Yeah, he escapes. Good guess.
After Maika and her brother stab David and shoot him again, he flops over and looks dead. I won’t spoil the real ending, because I’m not sure what to think about it. It doesn’t resolve anything.
In all, this movie was good. I guess it has a lot more good things than bad, and Maika Monroe does a great job once again. I also was wrong about the year this came out. This was released in 2014, but I have never heard anything about it. I guess that’s not surprising, because I didn’t hear much mainstream attention for It Follows either, although it had a little. This one flies under the radar even more, but it had this awesome retro vibe I loved, just like It Follows. I would recommend this one, even with the flaws.
31. Poltergeist (1982) vs Poltergeist (2015)
30. Blair Witch Project (1999)
29. Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
28. The Wicker Man (1973) and The Wicker Man Remake
27. Tales from the Darkside, the Movie (1990)
26. Saw (2004)
25. The Prophecy (1995)
24. The Hills have Eyes (1977)
23. House of the Long Shadows (1983)
22. Creepshow (1982)
21. Phantasm (1979)
20. The Omen (1976) vs Damien: The Omen II
19. We Are Still Here (2015)
18. The Guest
17. Return of the Living Dead (1985)
15. The House that Dripped Blood (1971)
14. Army of Darkness (1992)
13. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)
12. Friday the 13th Part III
11. Theater of Blood (1973)
10. House of Wax (1953) vs House of Wax (2005)
9. Hellraiser Inferno (2000)
8. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
7. The Changeling (1980)
6. The Eye (2002)
5. The Hitcher (1986)
4. Paranormal Activity (2007)
3. 28 Days Later (2003)
2. Suspiria (1977)
1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – This review will be published October 31st!